How to Create Content That Performs
Its 2017 and although the way it is being delivered is evolving, content is still considered ‘king’. While the way the term, ‘content marketing’ is thrown around a lot, you would be forgiven for being a little sceptical of its effectiveness, but it’s still as popular as ever.
Content is used for anything from on-site blog content to increasing brand exposure, lead generation and product promotion – providing of course, that you execute it in the right way!
In the way that you are likely to have a solid strategy in place for other business procedures, you must also have a content strategy in place for your business that has been created by undertaking research that includes looking at audience analytics, competitor research and industry trends.
Below I will talk you through how to create a winning content strategy.
Before you even attempt to write any content, you need to know your audience inside out. We are far past the days of writing for search engines (and if anyone tries to tell you differently, politely smile and walk away). While writing with SEO in mind is always good practice, appearing in top research results will prove useless if your readers don’t engage with the content.
By using audience analytics, such as that on Facebook, or by creating surveys or focus groups, you can create enough data about your audience to enable you to discover who they are, how they buy and where from, the brand affiliations they have, why they make buying decisions and what influences their buyer behaviour.
From this data, you can create customer personas that help you, and others within your business, to understand your customers, and create content that resonates with their demands and alleviates their fears and misunderstandings.
Your brand voice is incredibly important to set you aside from your competitors and allow your audience to quickly recognise that something has come from you.
Your unique brand voice should be used across all forms of communication; from website copy, guest posts and social media, to advertising, marketing literature, promotions and events – this consistently drives your voice to your audience.
“Due to years of being advertised at, people have evolved their metaphorical walls to block out messaging that doesn’t resonate with them on a personal level,” said Richard Pomes, Partner at RapJab marketing agency in New Orleans. “So brands too have to evolve–not to trick people into buying something, but to convey a thought, idea, message or story to an audience that is ready to listen.”
But how do you create a unique brand voice that can penetrate these walls? This goes back to your audience, what language, tone and terminology would resonate with them the most? It can be helpful at this point to use your web analytics, social media analytics and even PPC ads to determine the style of content that your audience is most attracted too.
From this information, you can create a definitive document that describes your brand voice, such as this one.
What is the purpose of your content? Do you want it to increase your brand exposure through opinion and thought-leadership pieces, drive traffic to your website, or do you want it to drive action, such as newsletter subscription sign-up, drive sales or nurture leads?
Before creating the content, you need to be confident of its purpose, otherwise, how do you measure its success? Even something as clear and simple as, “I want my blog to achieve 5 unique views a week”, ok – you have started small, but you measure if this has been achieved or not.
To find out the type of content that your audience is engaging with, you can use tools like AHRefs to look at the content your competitors are producing, where it is appearing and how it is performing. When mapped against your audience insights, and taking into consideration any industry trends or hot topics, you can create highly topical, purposeful and informative content.
Great blogs, creative content and blog posts are not created through guess work; they are formulated through research and monitoring.
At set intervals, you should stop and analyse the performance of your content, and you can use specific metrics to measure its success.
For instance, if increase brand awareness was your goal, you could measure the traffic, page views or downloads; if it was lead generation, you could look at the increase in blog or newsletter subscriptions, or form submissions.
Of course, you can use Google Analytics to look at all of these metrics.
Its critical to allow enough time to gather sufficient data; it’s unlikely that you will see a true reflection of its success overnight, while leaving it a long time may cause responses to slow down and performance will be skewed.
“We analyse our results on a monthly basis, it gives us a good indication of how its performing, and allows us to amend the tone, or headline to entice more views”, explains Richard Lecount from USB Makers, “it can be tempting to check it far more regularly, but you can ruin the authentic data with regards to its success because you never give it the time to perform on its initial merit, and this can have a long-term affect, influencing the future content that you create”.
In conclusion, you must be prepared to play the long game where content marketing is concerned. Be prepared to create posts and articles that are full of information and value that are written for your readers. As your goals become more defined, it’s likely that you will witness your content performing better.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Rebecca Moore .